A follow on from yesterday – there are certain inevitable consequences from Lee’s story that are worth considering.
Lee went to trial knowing full well that if he lost he could well be held liable for massive costs far outweighing the disputed amount. That surely has to count for something – at the very least a clear indication that he did not benefit in any way from the mistakes that were made.
He lost and was ruined to the tune of £350,000. The decision of the court was published for all to see and the amount Lee lost personally as a result of the costs was publicised.
So the consequence of that was that SPMRs in similar positions to Lee were clearly under a lot of financial incentive not to follow his path to the courts. In order to avoid paying POL the lost ‘money’ they had to prove to POL that it was not their fault and they had to do that before they became liable to handing the money over to POL. So there again there was significant financial pressure on these SPMRs, in the light of Lee’s court case, to ‘hide’ the losses until they could find out what happened. This is financial pressure of POL’s own making – an incentive to commit the crime of False Accounting. Yet as I pointed out yesterday, POL were culpable of removing the very paperwork they would rely on to find the error before the error came to their attention at close of business.
I believe that if Lee had put forward my argument that he could not have found the error because of POL’s actions then the court would have placed the onus of proving the loss was attributable to Lee back on to POL.
So let’s say Lee won (and hopefully will win in the future) and the result was POL had to prove in all future cases of unexplained branch losses who the culprit was. That would put an extremely different complexion on how SPMRs faced with such losses handled them surely?
There would be no pressure on them personally to commit the crime of false accounting. They could declare the shortages safe in the knowledge they had not benefited personally. POL would be forced to investigate and discover what happened and regardless of whose mistake it was the outcome would be that POL would surely put in place procedures for it not to happen again.
Whatever the outcome of the investigation – either a POL mistake or a counter assistant mistake/theft – then the SPMR – even if POL tries to recover the money from them has recourse to recovering the amount from the eventual recipient.
The fact that at the moment, even now after all these years, POL still stop investigating when they can legally recover the losses from the SPMR by virtue of an erroneous contract, is appalling.
BUT if I am right – and nobody yet has told me I am wrong – about the contract then POL are now running the risk of ending up in court again as they cannot rely on Lee’s case as a precedent.
The further consequences of that would in my opinion be criminal charges against those who sought to recover money that as has already been pointed out may never have existed in the first place.
I would appreciate comments on the analysis above – I am sure it makes sense.